Friday, January 30, 2015

Crispy Cajun Salmon Cakes

-with homemade tartar sauce and arugula

Happy Friday!

I'm ready to talk about an option for seafood lovers who don't quite have the access to fresh seafood they wish they did.

i.e. Landlocked Jessica

One of the hardest things about moving to Kentucky from Portland was getting used to the lack of amenities I'd previously been spoiled by.
 I used to be able to hit up the Costco 15 minutes from my house in Beaverton. I always stocked up on fresh salmon, shrimp, and usually cod or tilapia. Now, I'm 2.5 hours from the nearest Costco. I used to find tons of appropriately priced mahi mahi, tuna steaks, snapper, and swordfish at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Now, it's the same. A 2.5 hour drive to either store. I used to be 1 hour from the Pacific Ocean and its bounty of freshly caught crab. Now? You get the picture. When we figured out we were moving, I didn't take any of these things into consideration. The hubby and I simply told each other, it's ok, we don't shop a lot, and we don't eat out a lot. What are we going to be missing?

Ah, the naivety of youth.

I may not have access to fresh salmon most of the year, but canned salmon is something I can get rather readily. Anyone can. I've probably ate my body weight in canned tuna over the course of my lifetime, so wouldn't canned salmon be similar?

Not so much, I discovered.

Last time the hubby and I were at Whole Foods, I picked up 7 or 8 cans of wild-caught salmon. It was time to try it. And this was the first dish I tried. From what I'd read on canned salmon, one of the top ways to prepare it is in a burger, or patty, form. So I wrestled out my can opener, and got to work. I was expecting the fish inside to look like tuna. First off, canned salmon does not look like tuna. It looked like cat food. I almost thought the can had gone bad. LOL. Luckily, I foraged ahead.

No, canned salmon does not taste like cat food. Once I put the salmon in a large mixing bowl with everything and got to work breaking it down, it began to look and smell like salmon. I was relieved, to say the least. So I formed the mixture into patties, pan-seared them, and served them on a light salad with a side of tarter sauce.

I wa super-nervous for what the hubby was going to say. This felt like either a total win, or a big-time loss. The hubby gave his two-thumbs up to this economical dish, thank goodness.

My next experiment with canned salmon will be salmon burgers :)

Don't be scared to try these! They kind of reminded me of the falafel's I make, only with an obvious salmon taste. This is a great way to get Omega-3's into your diet for all those that are landlocked, like me. If you aren't lucky enough to live on a coast, don't think you can't add the nutrition of seafood to your diet. You can, you just have to get creative!

I can't believe it's Friday already. I have no idea what the hubby and I will be up to, we are currently in the middle of a winter weather pattern. The dogs woke me up about 6:15 to go outside, and I couldn't believe the weather. I knew it was going to be cold, so I'd already put on my ski mask, a hoodie, my ski gloves, and my ski jacket. But when I opened the door, I was smacked in the face by furiously blowing snow. 'What the heck is this, a blizzard?' I thought in my sleepy condition. Indeed, the dogs thought it was a blizzard too as they barely lifted their legs outside before making a beeline for the front door. The blowing snow has calmed down by now, but it still doesn't seem like driving weather to me. Definitely seems like a stay-inside-and-devour-movies-and-hot-chocolate kind of weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

Salmon Cakes-
1 (14.75) oz can of salmon, drained (wild-caught is the healthiest)
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 red pepper, minced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups panko, divided
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil

Tartar Sauce-
1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp dill pickle relish
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of black pepper

Arugula Salad-
4 cups arugula
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine salmon, onion, red pepper, parsley, cajun, salt, and pepper. Add 1/2 cup panko. Add 2 eggs. Using clean hands, mash mixture together. Place remaining 1 cup of panko in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet. Form salmon mixture into patties, making about 6 (if mixture is too dry to form cakes, add 1 more egg). When oil is hot, dip salmon patties into panko to coat the outside. Place in skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon, place on paper towel to drain.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine mayo through black pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.
3. In a salad bowl, place arugula. In a small bowl, vigorously whisk olive oil and lemon juice. Drizzle over arugula. Toss to coat arugula. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
4. To serve, divide arugula among plates. Top with 2 salmon cakes and serve with a side of tarter sauce. 

Salmon recipe adapted from Feed Me Seymour. Tarter Sauce recipe adapted from Food Network
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  1. I know just how you feel... I moved from California to Virginia and then Ohio. You would think that with Virginia being on the coast that they would have great seafood, but no, no they don't. Ohio was even worse. I'm in Arizona now and even though we're not right on the coast, we have fresh-ish seafood and a whole foods down the street. Thank God lol Anyway, these look good! I'll give them a try :)

    1. Yes, I am really close to Ohio, so I know it's not much better! And at least in Arizona, you have lots and lots of sun! Thanks for stopping by Rue, have a great weekend! :)

  2. My mamaw, God rest her soul, used to make the awesomest salmon cakes!! This reminded me of her :)

    1. My husband was telling me that his mom used to just take salmon out of the can, shape it into a patty, and throw it in the frying pan. He said that was not his favorite method, and these were much better! :) Hope you're having a great weekend Keith!

  3. I luv your blog! I'm so happy that I found it :) I've gotta try this recipe


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